For the first time since Dec. 5, Everton Women has won a competitive match. Granted, the Blues have played only six matches in the past two months. Still, it has been anything but smooth sailing for the Merseyside outfit in a season that was expected to go much better than it has so far.
Yesterday, things couldn't have started better; in the 4’, Kenza Dali found Anna Anvegård at the front post, and the Sweden international tapped home the opening tally.
In the 13’, Izzy Christiansen picked out Poppy Pattinson at the far-post, but Huddersfield goalkeeper Rebecca Flaherty gobbled up the full back’s first-time strike.
Less than 10 minutes later, Anvegård had an opportunity to double the team’s lead. Aurora Galli hit a looping ball over the defense, and Anvegård looked to the middle for Valérie Gauvin. However, the French striker didn't manage to get a shot off before Huddersfield's defense neutralized the threat.
Flaherty again was called into action in the 29’. This time, the Northern Ireland number one denied Anvegård, who had broken in on net. With the two developing a bit of a back and forth, Flaherty again stonewalled Anvegård two minutes later.
But Flaherty could only do so much in the 38th minute; Dali whipped in a cross, and Gauvin got her head around the ball to double Everton’s advantage. Gauvin was back on the scoresheet in the 50th, though she benefited from nifty build-up play from her teammates.
Hanna Bennison controlled the ball on the top of the 18 and picked a backheel pass to Galli, who had made a charging run into the penalty box. Galli then slipped the ball to Gauvin, and the sharpshooter only needed a yard of space to put the ball past Flaherty. It was Gauvin’s first brace since last February against Tottenham. She has yet to score in league action after bagging five last year.
Everton netted their fourth goal of the day in the 89’ — Claire Emslie struck a sublime bicycle kick — but the final marker was just one of several memorable moments in the last 10 minutes. Seven minutes earlier, Kenzie Weir made her Everton debut. Weir and her father, David Weir, who also played for the Toffees, became just the second father-daughter duo to play for Everton, following Mickey and Jade Thomas.
Perhaps a 4-0 drubbing of a lower-tier squad is just what Everton needs. The Toffees have been one of the worst teams in the division this season and lag in 10th place. Their next league match is against Reading on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 8 a.m. EST/1 p.m. GMT.
With the win versus Huddersfield, the Blues advance to the FA Cup fifth round, where they will be one of 16 remaining teams in the competition.